Victoria pledges ‘more support’ for healthcare workers

State pledges $353 million and other benefits like free meals

Victoria pledges ‘more support’ for healthcare workers

The Victorian government has recently announced that it would provide more support for the health sector as it prepares for what the state has called “the busiest winter yet.”

In a media release, the state said it pledged $353 million to offer payments of $3,000 to all those working in public hospitals and ambulance services. The list reportedly includes nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals, paramedics, ward clerks and patient services assistants.

Known as Victoria’s Healthcare Worker Winter Retention and Surge Payment, the state said it would also give other “practical help” like free meals as it hopes to provide “much-needed support and help to attract and retain critically important staff.”

“Thousands of health staff in both clinical and non-clinical roles who have also been working under immense pressure in roles critical to the functioning of our health system will be provided the payment, including those working in cleaning, food services and laundry services,” the state government said.

“These initiatives – while clearly not ending the ongoing workforce challenges being experienced around Australia – represent a modest but meaningful way to support and retain healthcare workers within the public system,” it added.

Who are eligible?

  • Employed by a public health service by 1 July and still be employed on 30 September.
  • Those who start between 1 July and 30 September will be eligible for a pro-rata payment, providing an added incentive to help attract more staff to our public hospitals.
  • The payments will be made in two rounds, one after 15 August and one after 30 September.

“Our people are our health system’s greatest asset and this is just one way for us to recognise and support their efforts and ensure nurses, doctors, paramedics, allied health and support staff are there when we need them most,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Minister for Health Martin Foley echoed the Premier’s sentiments, saying that “healthcare workers have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic,” adding that they had done “extraordinary work” under “unprecedented pressure.”

“We know the next few months will be tough for our hospitals and paramedics as they continue to battle COVID, the flu and increasing demand. These measures are designed to improve the day-to-day working environment for workers on the frontline,” Parliamentary Secretary for Health Steve McGhie said.

The government is further “taking pressure off” the healthcare system by giving free flu vaccinations throughout June. Additionally, it has been reported that almost 7,000 healthcare workers will be trained and hired under the state’s $12 billion “Pandemic Repair Plan.”

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